Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Church, Denominational Loyalty Reflects Longevity
- Tens of Thousands to Gather Feb. 18 to Sing 'Amazing Grace'
- Presbyterians Ditch Old Mainline Model for Postmodern One
- India: Panel Denies Christian Persecution in State
Church, Denominational Loyalty Reflects Longevity
Research conducted for Facts & Trends magazine shows two-thirds of all American Protestant churchgoers feel they will continue attending the same church in the near future, Baptist Press reports. The findings are from a study of 1,184 adults who attend a Protestant church in the United States at least once a month. The study examined loyalty to denominations and specific churches, as well as length and frequency of attendance. The average length of time adults have been attending the same church is 13.7 years. However, averages can be skewed by a relatively small number of people who cite very high numbers, with some churchgoers having attended the same congregation for decades. Probably a more accurate reflection of churchgoers in general is the median figure of 6.6 years, which means half of all churchgoers have been attending the same church for less time than this, and half for a greater length of time. Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations are particularly likely to have people attending the same church for years and years.
Tens of Thousands to Gather Feb. 18 to Sing 'Amazing Grace'
Amazing Grace Sunday is a worldwide event bringing together more than 2,500 churches and tens of thousands of individuals to commemorate the abolition of slavery in England and to take a stand against modern-day slavery. Religion News Service reports that individuals from throughout the world will cross racial and denominational divides to pray for freedom and sing the historic song, Amazing Grace. The event was inspired by Bristol Bay Production’s newest film, Amazing Grace, which chronicles the lives of anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce and John Newton, who wrote the lyrics for the hymn.
Presbyterians Ditch Old Mainline Model for Postmodern One
The Christian Post reports that Orthodox Presbyterians have proposed a "radical change" to how Presbyterians handle church government. Ditching the hierarchical model widely used by mainline denominations, dissident Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) members recently voted on a new model for the postmodern era. "As we move out of a modernist era into a postmodern era, the modernist structure – bureaucratic, centralized authority, hierarchical top-down leadership – doesn't work anymore," the Rev. Dr. D. Dean Weaver, senior pastor of Memorial Park Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, said. Specifically, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) invited congregations to create a non-geographic presbytery named after New Wineskins under the EPC.
India: Panel Denies Christian Persecution in State
The Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission claims that reports of Hindu extremists persecuting Christians in the state are “baseless,” angering the small Christian community. The state commission’s claim contradicts a report by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) in June 2006. The NCM fact-finding team found that Hindu extremists had frequently invoked the state’s anti-conversion law as a means to incite mobs against Christians and have Christians arrested without evidence. “The life of Christians has become miserable at the hands of miscreants in connivance with the police,” the NCM noted in its report. But Anwar Mohammed Khan, chairman of the state minorities commission, told Compass Direct News, “We don’t think any special mention should be made about attacks against Christians.”